How to clean your shoes
Learn how to extend the lifespan of your shoes with our comprehensive guide. Find out how to clean and care for leather, canvas, EVA clogs, CrewGuard overshoes, suede and nubuck, and fabric shoes. Our step-by-step instructions and tips will help you keep your shoes looking and feeling great. Keep your shoes in top condition with our easy-to-follow cleaning and care advice.
General Shoe Cleaning Tips & Tricks
- To keep your shoes lasting longer, rotate your shoes with another pair.
- When you buy a new pair of shoes, protect them before you wear them for the first time.
- If your shoes get wet, allow them to dry completely before wearing them again. Once your shoes have dried, waterproof them again with a multi-purpose protector.
- Use a shoe horn to assist with putting on your shoes, to keep the heel from losing its shape.
- When you travel, always place your shoes inside a shoe bag or wrap your shoes in a soft material.
How to Clean Leather Shoes
- Dirt and other debris can embed into leather. Use a shoe brush and shoe wipes to remove excess dirt and debris before you start polishing.
- Remove the shoelaces from your shoes before you start polishing them. This is the most effective method of cleaning the tongue of the shoe and avoiding staining the laces.
- When using shoe polishes or creams, for best results first apply the shoe polish or cream evenly with a brush or soft cloth. Once the polish has dried, buff to a brilliant shine using a natural bristle brush. NOTE: It is important to use a separate brush and cloth for applying and buffing different colored shoes.
- If you prefer a more convenient alternative, there are instant shine liquids. First remove excess dirt and then apply the liquid evenly to your shoes. The formulation restores color and dries to an instant shine – without the need to buff.
- Use shoe protector products to help waterproof your shoes and to protect them from common stains caused by water, mud, dust, snow or salt.
- Store leather shoes using a shoe tree, to help keep the shape of the leather. If you can't use a shoe tree (e.g., for strappy shoes), stuff the toe cap with newspaper or tissue. Never store or dry leather shoes near direct heat.
How to Clean Canvas Shoes
- Start by taking a shoe brush or an old toothbrush and remove any dirt or debris before washing your shoes.
- Optional: Remove your shoelaces before starting.
- Mix a few drops of mild dish detergent into a bucket or sink filled with cold water.
- Using an old toothbrush, dip it into the soapy water and gently brush the canvas in circular motions to clean up any stains.
- Without getting any water inside of the shoes, use a clean, damp cloth and rinse the soap off. Repeat until the canvas is clean and all traces of soap are removed. (Dried soap residue may cause staining.)
- Crumple up a few sheets of paper towel or newspaper, and stuff it in the shoe to help the shoe keep its shape while drying.
- Place the shoes in a well-ventilated area to let the shoes dry naturally.
- Caution: We DO NOT recommend putting your Shoes For Crews shoes in the dryer under any circumstances.
How to Clean EVA Clogs and Boots
- If your shoe or boot has a removable insole, take the insole out before your start.
- Rinse the shoes or boots thoroughly with plain water to quickly remove any dirt or debris.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt and debris from the shoe surface.
- If additional cleaning is needed, mix a few drops of mild dish detergent with water in a bucket or sink and then put your shoes in to soak.
- While your clogs or boots are soaking, use a scrub brush to gently scrub any remaining dirt away.
- Rinse your shoes thoroughly and allow them to completely dry.
- Caution: Avoid leaving your shoes where they will be exposed to heat or sun, such as a dishwasher, washing machine, or hot car, as this can cause the shoes to shrink or warp.
How to Clean CrewGuard® Overshoes
- Method 1: Dishwasher
Remove any food or debris with our Sole Grid Cleaner, then place your CrewGuard® Overshoes on the top shelf of the dishwasher.
Caution: Heat in excess of 180°F (82°C) will cause CrewGuard® Overshoes to contract slightly. They should be allowed to air dry.
- Method 2: Hand Wash
Prepare a soapy solution by mixing mild dishwashing liquid and warm water. Then use a clean rag soaked in the soapy solution to wipe off any dirt, food or oil on the surface.
- Drying Your CrewGuard® Overshoes
CrewGuard® Overshoes should always be air dried, but a great way to soak up excess moisture is to crumple up paper towels and stuff them into your shoes, then remove after a few hours.
How to Clean Suede & Nubuck Shoes
- Your suede shoes deserve special attention. Make sure to clean and waterproof them regularly.
- If your suede shoes get wet, stuff them with newspaper while they dry to keep their shape.
- Always allow them to dry naturally and never put them near direct heat.
- Suede and nubuck shoes will look their best when brushed. You can use specialized suede and nubuck brushes and cleaning blocks for this purpose.